The original language was most probably Hebrew. In its present form, it gives the narrative of the Hebrew people from Adam to Saul, although it probably was once more extensive. In places it merely gives the biblical text. More often, however, it has introduced additional material on the text, although not always in the expected place. It is a rich source for Jewish tradition as known in Palestine, in certain communities at least, during the first century A.
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This date is based on a possible reference to the fall of Jerusalem in , but the evidence is thin and could be interpreted as referring to the Babylonians B. There are potential parallels with 2 Baruch and 4 Ezra which would imply a date in the late first century.
The book claims to be written by Philo of Alexandria, but this is unlikely since Philo wrote in Greek. The book is important for New Testament studies since it sheds light on how Jews in the first century may have understood their own history.
The major interest in the book is the Covenant of God. The whole book of Genesis is summarized in chapters , yet there are four chapters detailing the covenant rededication at the time of Joshua The leadership of the nation is an important theme, so much so that the author invents careers for Kenaz and Zebul to fill in the gap between Joshua and the first of the judges.
This succession of leadership is more important than the origins of the nation, Genesis is rapidly summarized while the careers of Joshua, Kenaz, Zebul and the other Judges are quite detailed. There are a few expansions of the biblical text in this book which are interesting.
Both Nahor and Lot are included among the twelve individuals who refused. The story was rewritten through the lens of the three youths in Daniel 3, including the climactic statement of faith in God in And if I escape the fire, wild beasts will come out of the mountains and devour us; or we will lack food and die of famine; and we will be found fleeing from the people of this land but falling in our sins.
And now as he in whom I trust lives, I will not be moved from my place where they have put me. If there be any sin of mine so flagrant that I should be burned up, let the will of God be done. And it burned all those standing around in sight of the furnace.
And all those who were burned in that day were 83, Overlooking the faithlessness and sin in the live of Abraham is typical of biblical expansions in the Second Temple period. As the great heroes of the faith become even more heroic, there is a tendency to omit their shortcomings.
Abram is a faithful monotheist before God gives him the promise of Genesis Share this:.
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